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Report of the Committee to Investigate the Charges Made That Certain History Textbooks in Use in the Public Schools of the City of New York Contain Matter Which Is in Derogation of the Achievements of Our National Heroes, of the Founders of the Republic

Report of the Committee to Investigate the Charges Made That Certain History Textbooks in Use in the Public Schools of the City of New York Contain Matter Which Is in Derogation of the Achievements of Our National Heroes, of the Founders of the Republic

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Excerpt from Report of the Committee to Investigate the Charges Made That Certain History Textbooks in Use in the Public Schools of the City of New York Contain Matter Which Is in Derogation of the Achievements of Our National Heroes, of the Founders of the Republic

My Dear Shimer:

I am in receipt of a number of communications to the effect that some of the histories used in our schools contain matter disparaging the accomplishments of noted characters in American history and questioning the sincerity of the aims and ideals of the founders of the Republic and of those who subsequently guided its destinies.

Let me suggest that at your early convenience, in your capacity as Chairman of the Committee on Studies and Textbooks, you organize a representative committee of principals and teachers to make a careful investigation of the textbooks to which objection has been made and to draw up, as far as may be advisable, such basic principles for the writing of textbooks intended for use in our schools as may be helpful to authors of such material.

May I suggest that, to my mind, a distinction should be drawn between the obligation to cleave closely to the line of historical truth, such as is incumbent upon the historian writing for adult readers and the discretion properly conceded to an author of school texts who writes for immature minds incapable of and disinclined to make fine distinctions but instinctively inclined to worship at the shrine of all that is loyal, heroic, and self-sacrificing.

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